- Former Member of Parliament, Councillor, and Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. James Thompson, CD, was laid to rest on the grounds of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grange Hill, Westmoreland on July 9.
- Affectionately known as 'Jim T', Mr. Thompson, who died at age 99, was accorded an Official Funeral as recognition for his 54 years of service to the nation.
- A tribute by Prime Minister Simpson Miller described Mr Thompson as a non-partisan “party-man,” who put his country first.
Former Member of Parliament, Councillor, and Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. James Thompson, CD, was laid to rest on the grounds of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grange Hill, Westmoreland on July 9.
Affectionately known as ‘Jim T’, Mr. Thompson, who died at age 99, was accorded an Official Funeral as recognition for his 54 years of service to the nation.
He entered politics in 1947 when he was elected Councillor of the Glenislay Division in Westmoreland. He later served as Member of Parliament for North East Westmoreland (1972-1980) and as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. He ascended to the office of Custos of Westmoreland in 1990 and served in that position for 11 years, before he retired due to ill-health.
Delivering the Remembrance, former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, said Mr Thompson was a man of many parts – councillor, politician, custos , farmer, hotelier, company director, family man, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and preacher – “and above all, a quintessential gentleman and human being.”
Mr. Patterson also spoke of Mr. Thompson’s devotion to God, love for his country, pride in the people from whom he sprang, and was “blessed with a fertile mind.”
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen headed the large congregation of Government and Opposition representatives as well as retired political leaders from both sides, the judiciary, lay magistrates, civic leaders, family, friends and well wishers who filled the church and the nearby auditorium.
The Governor-General read the first lesson which was taken from Isaiah 61:1-3, while Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, read the second lesson from 1st Peter 1: 3-9.
Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who was unavoidably absent, was represented by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who read her tribute.
Mrs. Simpson Miller described Mr Thompson as a non-partisan “party-man,” who put his country first. “A true patriot who worked passionately for the growth and development of his country,” the tribute read.
“Jim was always of the view that everything must be done to improve the living and working condition of Jamaicans. He was not only a man of words, but also of action, who found himself attracted to the leadership of Norman Manley and the ideals of the People’s National Party,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.
“The country has lost one of its most loyal public servants, who for most of his 99 years gave everything and did everything he could on behalf of the people of his beloved Jamaica,” she added.
Mr. Thompson’s son John, in his tribute, recalled his father’s industry, entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity and his love and devotion to his family. He also recollected his father’s commitment to his children’s education and the welfare of others.
The Very Rev. Canon Hartly Perrin, who delivered the homily, said he held a deep aggregation of love and admiration for his departed family friend, and referred to Mr Thompson as “the illustrious son of Westmoreland who was born in Chapelton, Clarendon,” who was proud of his black heritage.
Drawing parallels between the life of Mr Thompson and the Biblical figure of Job, Conon Perrin said Mr. Thompson walked through adversities and was rewarded for his faithfulness with the material which he generously shared with others.
Interment followed the nine-mile procession to the Holy Trinity Church in Grange Hill, where Thompson worshipped since he was a youngster. He was laid to rest beside his wife of 65 years, Elethia, who predeceased him in 2011.